Serina Drake on the Surrey dining scene, restoring local pubs and how she likes her eggs…
Serina and Steve Drake are familiar names to diners in Surrey. Drake’s Restaurant has retained a Michelin star for over ten years – and it is well-deserved. Proving that you don’t need to head into the capital to dine on the most exquisite food; and highlighting the rich and varied produce on offer in this diverse county, Serina Drake introduces the new Surrey Food & Drink Guide.
We do like to treat you guys to sneak peek, so here is what Serina had to say about Surrey, before the new guide has even hit the shelves…
“I am delighted to have been asked to write the foreword for this year’s guide for many reasons; one being that Drake’s has been featured since the guide started and another that I am proud to be part of Surrey’s food and drink scene.
“I have lived and worked in Surrey all my life and am still constantly amazed by what our county offers – not least from a dining point of view. We are spoilt for choice, from fantastic places for a lazy brunch – one of my riverside favourites in Hampton Court serves fantastic scrambled eggs – to establishments for celebrations. I’m biased towards Drake’s, obviously, but because, as a region, we boast such a diverse range of global cuisines there is little need to travel beyond Surrey’s county lines in search of fine food.
“Pubs are raising their game, and since opening The Anchor in late 2013 it is something I notice more. In Ripley we transformed a tired pub into a relaxing and comfortable space, where people can pop in for a pint and bar snack, or enjoy a full meal or a roast on Sundays.
“At Drake’s we have a beautiful walled garden where guests enjoy drinks during warmer months. For some years we’ve grown sorrel, rhubarb, mint and the occasional vegetable, mostly sourced from an amazing local company – The Culinary Herb Company in Send – but this year our gardener Alistair plans to experiment further. You can’t get more local than your own back garden. That said, we are very lucky to have access to some amazing suppliers almost on our doorstep – we source meat from F Conisbee in East Horsley’s own farm, leaves from Secretts in Milford and English sparkling wine from Greyfriars.
“Ripley will always be special to me. From that first visit almost 12 years ago when we viewed the restaurant that was to become Drake’s, it has evolved into a real foodie destination – I like to think that we had a hand in that and have been joined by others who share real passion for food, drink and customer service. This was recognised by the industry when three Ripley locals won titles at Surrey Life’s Food & Drink awards last year: Pinnocks coffee shop; Ripley Farmers’ Market; and Steve, as chef of the year. We all have special places on our doorsteps, so go out and enjoy.”